The NDP's plan to stop the privatization of Manitoba Hydro

The Manitoba NDP revealed its plan on Thursday to stop the alleged privatization of Manitoba Hydro by forcing a referendum.

The NDP alleged the province is looking to sell parts of the Crown corporation and its subsidiaries.

“We also see that this privatization agenda is working its way into the long-term planning of Manitoba Hydro,” said NDP Leader Wab Kinew.

“Just last week we saw their CEO share in a video to their staff that they believe that there will be competitive pressures forced on Manitoba Hydro in the future, which basically means this government is planning to break up Manitoba Hydro and sell it off.”

Kinew said he can’t stand for the possible privatization of Manitoba Hydro in whole or in part.

“Our low bills, the ability connect all Manitobans to high speed internet, hinges on us being able to protect Manitoba Hydro from being privatized and to keep it public,” he said.

Kinew added the NDP is going to go a step further than providing public pressure, he said the party will introduce legislation that it intends to bring to a vote as soon as possible when the legislature resumes.

“We are going to bring forward a bill that says should this government seek to privatize that fiber-optic backbone that they’d have to have a referendum first,” he said.

In a statement, Crown Services Minister Jeff Wharton said “Manitobans Hydro belongs to Manitobans and will remain public.”

He added the province is “committed to strengthening Hydro as a public asset that benefits all Manitobans.”